Under Armour: ‘the two extremes’

By Staff Writer
September 22, 2006

Under Armour was started in 1996 by former University of Maryland football player Kevin Plank to keep athletes cool and dry in the heat of the game. He originally created a prototype tee and sold it to Georgia Tech, Arizona State and the Atlanta Falcons.

Since then, the company has taken off and is used by many athletes for sports or simply working out and comes in three different classifications: ColdGear, HeatGear and AllSeasonGear.

The ColdGear is used for keeping athletes warm and works when the body temperature goes up while active. HeatGear was originally designed as a tee shirt that would wisk sweat away and keep athletes cool, but has since expanded into almost every other category of garment.

AllSeasonGear is for athletes who work out in between the two extremes. The purpose for the Under Armour being so snug is so that it can act as a compression device for the muscles in whatever part of the body one is using the gear; thus, making the muscles tighter and more explosive during action.

The original mission was to make the perfect clothing for athletes to wear, and it all started with one football player’s need for a better tee shirt.

Another technology Under Armour is responsible for is what the company calls “Lockertag” technology. This is their method of applying a label to show a player’s number clearly without having a bulky tag inside the gear to get in the way.

Under Armour has taken over in the world of sports and is used by just about every professional and collegiate athlete under the sun. Additionally, the company has a tactical line that is popular among firefighters and law enforcement.

It is not only the technology employed by the company that makes their products fly off the shelves, but the fact that the simple “US” logo practically sells itself. Kids and athletes want to have that logo in addition to the moisture Wicking technology.

Victoria Matkowski, sophomore education major, said that she used the long sleeved top in field hockey and it “helped to regulate body temperature and keep warm when it was cold out side.”

The list of teams endorsed by Under Armour is enough to prove that it works, as well as the awards the company has received from Sporting Goods Business, the American Marketing Association, the Baltimore Museum of Industry, the American Business Association and various other institutions and sporting goods retailers.

Nike and Reebok, who are the only other official gear suppliers for the NFL, have recently copied the Under Armour technology and slapped their own logo on it, but in the eyes of athletes, nothing beats the original.

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